With the Andhra Pradesh government looking to adapt it by June, the Delhi government’s flagship Happiness Curriculum is going places. While Ladakh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Jharkhand have expressed interest and even visited Delhi schools, the Andhra Pradesh government will be the first to adapt the flagship project and launch a state-specific Happiness Curriculum.
The curriculum had been launched in Delhi government schools in 2018. Teaching handbooks were created for teachers, laying out concepts and activities, including stories to be discussed in class.
A Satyanarayana from SCERT Andhra Pradesh, the state’s curriculum coordinator, said these handbooks have already been translated to Telugu to help teachers understand the objectives of the programme.
“We have a core team of 35, comprising teachers, lecturers from DIET (District Institute of Education and Training) centres, education advisors and state officials, who are working on content creation. We are planning to retain 30% of the content from Delhi’s curriculum and develop the rest according to our cultural context, needs and capabilities. We have completed content for the first 12 weeks of teaching,” Satyanarayana told The Indian Express.
Aim of the course
‘Happiness classes’ are conducted during the first 45 minutes of every school day from nursery to class VIII. With the aim of developing self-awareness, critical thinking and expression, the classes involve “mindfulness” sessions, storytelling and teacher-student interactions. As Andhra Pradesh does not have pre-primary classes in its government schools, the curriculum will begin at class I.
Andhra Pradesh representatives have visited Delhi government schools twice, and the first official meeting on the matter between representatives of both governments was held last September. Following that, representatives from Delhi visited Andhra Pradesh as consultants for a meeting.
Dr Shyam Sundar, senior lecturer at DIET Darya Ganj, who went to Andhra Pradesh for the last meeting, said a “perception building” workshop will soon be conducted by SCERT Delhi for the core team of AP teachers for clarity on the course’s philosophy and objectives.
Satyanarayana said: “Our CM has a vision for Andhra Pradesh having an increased happiness index, and our school education department is also working towards developing that. We looked at Delhi’s model towards developing the course. We also invited a team from Bhutan and had a meeting with them.”
However, he noted that there are several challenges to implementing the curriculum: “We have around 45,000 schools in the state (Delhi has a little over 1,000). We have far fewer teachers, many of whom are teaching multiple classes. We also need to make it work in both rural and urban settings. That is why we cannot implement the same model. We will not be approaching it class-wise but level-wise, with classes I-VIII being divided into three levels,” he said.